SaskTel is encouraging customers to donate their old cell phones and accessories to the Phones for a Fresh Start (PFFS) program this holiday season to help give the gift of a fresh start to those struggling with domestic violence and youth transitioning out of the Ministry of Social Services Care. 

“For youth transitioning out of care a phone can be a lifeline, enabling them to stay in touch with vital support networks, such as community partners, former caregivers and extended family,” said Gene Makowsky, Minister of Social Services. “We are proud to work with SaskTel to provide such a great program to youth in our province so they can stay connected as they transition to independence.”

“The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and laughter, but for some, they are filled with unimaginable stress and uncertainty,” said Charlene Gavel, SaskTel President and CEO. “As the holidays quickly approach, we ask our customers to donate their old cell phones to Phones for a Fresh Start and help make a difference in the lives of families struggling with domestic violence and young people who need a helping hand as they transition out of ministry care and into adulthood.”

Through the program, SaskTel collects and recycles old phones and uses the proceeds generated by the recycling process to purchase new phones and prepaid phone cards. The new cell phones and phone cards are then donated to the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan’s (PATHS) 24 member agencies to help people escape domestic violence. SaskTel also donates phones to the Ministry of Social Services to support youth as they set out on the path of independence. 

“We are so grateful for the SaskTel Phones for a Fresh Start program that enables PATHS 
member agencies to distribute new phones to individuals who have experienced violence and 
abuse,” said Jo-Anne Dusel, Executive Director at PATHS. “These phones are a key tool for 
keeping in touch with family and friends, looking for housing or employment, and calling for help in an emergency. Everyone deserves a life free from violence and abuse. By supporting this program, you are helping provide a crucial support for survivors of intimate partner and family violence.”

SaskTel says donating is easy. During the holidays and throughout the year, cell phones, batteries, and accessories can be dropped off at any SaskTel Store or one of the Authorized Dealer locations throughout the province. Those looking to donate can also ship their devices to SaskTel free of charge through Canada Post. 

SaskTel says since 2009 when the program began, SaskTel has recycled over 135,000 cell phones. All proceeds from the recycling process have been used to purchase and donate $127,000 in prepaid phone cards and over 5,000 cell phones to people in communities across Saskatchewan.